In preparation for the upcoming college football season, I’ve been breaking down games from some of the top draft-eligible prospects for the 2013 draft class. First up were two games of Logan Thomas, and now we’ve moved on to Matt Barkley. In the first game I charted for Barkley against Stanford he looked like a potential 1st-round pick, but also demonstrated some flaws which could cause for a fall once scouts spend more time dissecting his game. I was tipped off by a twitter follower that his game vs Arizona State further exposed some issues, so that’s where we’ll go next.
As always, you can download the full chart of Barkley’s performance right here.
In the Stanford game, I was most disappointed by Barkley’s inaccuracy down the field. He completed just 3 of 12 passes beyond 15 yards and only two of the incompletions were accurate throws.
Unfortunately, Barkley’s performance against Arizona State wasn’t much better. He completed just 4 of 12 passes beyond 15 yards and only two incompletions were on the mark, one of which was still arguably a poor decision as it was tipped and could have been intercepted.
A downfield accuracy rate of 50 percent isn’t terrible, especially considering two of the incompletions were 40-yard bombs which have a low success rate, but it does raise some concerns. Many of Barkley’s throws weren’t just off the mark, they were wild and completely uncatchable. Forcing a receiver to adjust is one thing, but giving him no chance at all is far more concerning.
For a good example of the errant throws Barkley is capable of unleashing, take a look at these two throws which just so happen to come on consecutive dropbacks (a few run plays occurred in between).
Another issue which gets raised in this game is Barkley’s decision-making ability. He throws two interceptions in this game, both of which left me scratching my head.
Here’s the first interception, an attempted quick slant which gets picked off by Vontaze Burfict.
I’m really not sure what to say about this play. Clearly Barkley is reacting to the linebacker coming from his blind side, but Barkley still has more than enough time to set his feet and fire a quick strike to Robert Woods cutting across the middle. Instead, he leaps off his back foot and attempts some sort of fadeaway throw which lands in the arms of Burfict. I would much rather see Barkley and take a sack on this play rather than attempt to force the ball using poor mechanics.